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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Eagle Boy’ gives an insider’s view of Suicide Race

As I've made it clear in past posts on this blog, the 2020 edition of the Spokane International Film Festival opens on Friday. Following a 6 p.m. social hour at the Garland Theater, SpIFF 2020 will screen a Best of the Northwest shorts program beginning at 7, followed by a 9 p.m. screening of the documentary feature "Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain."

After opening night, the final six days of the festival will take place at the Magic Lantern Theater. And one of the programs that will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lantern will includes the near-hour-long documentary feature "Eagle Boy" and three shorts: "Woman Dress," "Urban.Indigenous.Proud: That Old Game La Crosse," and "Ride."

Regarding "Eagle Boy," the film — co-directed by Directed by Ruth Eddy and Samuel Wilson — takes its title from one of the horses that competed in the 2017 Suicide Race, which is a featured part of the annual Omak Stampede.

 Eddy and Wilson show us the race from the perspective of jockey Scott Abrahamson and trainer George Marchand, and along the way give viewers a unique insider's view of the culture that gave birth to the whole event.

Both, though, are quick to give credit to Eagle Boy himself.

 “He’s one of the greatest horses I’ve ever rode,” Abrahamson told the Tribal Tribune. “He wants to win this just as much as I do.”

Tickets for SpIFF 2020 are going fast. And festival passes have already sold out. Click here for more ticket information.

Personal disclaimer: I serve as a volunteer programmer for the Spokane International Film Festival, and I am an unpaid member of the festival's board of directors. I've attended every festival, as either a reporter or as a fan, since its inception in 1999.